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Analysis: A closer look at Nate Solder, the newest Patriot

04.28.11 at 9:58 pm ET
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If the Patriots are going to let Matt Light walk in free agency, Nate Solder is an offensive lineman who should step in and contribute immediately for a line that’s in a state of flux. A First Team All-American, Solder was the first-ever offensive tackle at Colorado to earn consensus All-American honors. He has no injury history and has displayed remarkable durability, as he was on the field for all but two offensive snaps over his final three years at Colorado.

(Here is the report on Solder by D.J. Bean from the NFL combine, along with the ‘Potential Patriots’ entry done on the offensive lineman.)

New England offensive line has undergone pretty big changes this offseason ‘€” the uncertainty around the future of tackles Light and Nick Kaczur, and the retirement of guard Stephen Neal ‘€” and Solder certainly has a chance to step in and contribute immediately. The 6-foot-8, 314-pound Solder and the 6-foot-8, 314-pound Sebastian Vollmer give the Patriots a pair of massive tackles.

Here’s some video from Solder while at Colorado:

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Matt Light, Nate Solder, nick kaczur

Patriots select Nate Solder

04.28.11 at 9:51 pm ET
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The Patriots have selected Colorado tackle Nate Solder 17th overall in the NFL draft. Solder stands at a mammoth 6-foot-8 and 319 pounds.

Solder is one of the more raw prospects to go in the first round, as he is still getting used to playing tackle after being recruited like a tight end (a transition that is not uncommon). We got to know Solder back at the combine. Here’s our story from February.

Ryan Kerrigan to Redskins

04.28.11 at 9:44 pm ET
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The Redskins selected Purdue pass-rusher Ryan Kerrigan 16th overall Thursday. They had the 16th pick from their trade with the Jaguars.

We’re very high on Kerrigan around these parts. His motor may be talked about plenty, but for good reason. He loves getting after the quarterback, and it showed with his 15 sacks over the last two years.

Dolphins select Mike Pouncey

04.28.11 at 9:39 pm ET
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The Dolphins selected Florida center Mike Pouncey 15th overall Thursday night. He is the twin brother of Steelers’ 2010 first-round pick Maurkice Pouncey.

Pouncey is one of the safest pick in the entire draft, and at 15th is a fair enough value. Mark Ingram seemed to be a logical option, but there is plenty of risk in taking a first-round running back. The Dolphins learned that when they saw former second overall pick Ronnie Brown become a good but not great player.

Robert Quinn to Rams

04.28.11 at 9:30 pm ET
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The Rams selected UNC defensive end Robert Quinn 14th overall Thursday night. Quinn was suspended last season, his junior campaign, for taking improper benefits from an agent.

This is a very intriguing pick. Quinn had 11 sacks as a sophomore, but sitting out last year meant his sample size was very small. Though he was suspended, Quinn is a very good story, as he overcame a brain tumor to be where he is today.

Lions get Nick Fairley 13th overall

04.28.11 at 9:25 pm ET
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The fall for Nick Fairley finally ended when the Lions chose the Auburn defensive tackle 13th overall Thursday.

This is a pick that could make the Lions’ defensive line as scary as any other in the league going forward. Fairley and Ndamukong Suh in the middle of that four-man front has to be worrisome for opposing quarterbacks. Great job by the Lions on this one.

Christian Ponder to Vikings

04.28.11 at 9:22 pm ET
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The Vikings selected Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder 12th overall Thursday, making him the fourth quarterback taken thus far.

Ponder was a guy I expected to consider a good value if he went in the middle of the second round, but 12th overall is a bit high. He isn’t as tall as a team would like, but he’s talented and has the athleticism (4.6 40 yard dash). As long as this means people won’t talk about Brett Favre anymore, how can you not love this pick?

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